4 keys to halting osteoarthritis pain in as little as 24 hours
By the time people hit the 70-year-old mark, most of them have some degree of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a painful degenerative joint disease that affects the small joints in the fingers, knees, hips, and back. The neck may also be affected, which can be severely debilitating. This form of arthritis is characterized by much less inflammation and swelling of the joints than rheumatoid arthritis but with more calcification. It is often worse than it appears on examination, but rarely as bad as rheumatoid arthritis.
Fortunately, you don't have to live with the pain. I'd like to share with you four natural treatments for arthritis that can not only relieve the pain, but can also reverse the damage.
A fishy solution for arthritis pain
I've recommended cod liver oil for 30 years. I've always said that if it was good enough for my great grandmother Bell then it's good enough for you and me. Great grandma Bell just happened to be "Dr. Lucy" Bell-and much of her advice is what's gotten me here today.
But back to the issue at hand: cod liver oil.
Cardiff University in Great Britain recently conducted a study on the beneficial effects of cod liver oil on degenerative arthritis (also known as osteoarthritis). It's been known for years that cod liver oil is good for rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammatory type. But these new findings by the Cardiff researchers show that not only does cod liver oil relieve the symptoms-primarily pain and stiffness-of both types of arthritis, but it can also reverse the destruction of joint cartilage, which is characteristic of osteoarthritis. The cartilage is the cushioning factor that keeps the joints of the bones from rubbing together.
Professor Bruce Caterson, head of the Cardiff study, immersed tissue samples in a test solution of cod liver oil. He found that the solution could completely stop-or even reverse-the action of the destructive enzymes and inflammatory factors affecting the tissue after just 24 hours. Amazing!
"This is where," Dr. Caterson added, "science and old wives' tales coincide. Our findings are consistent with advice that taking cod liver oil in early adulthood could prevent the onset of osteoarthritis and would reduce the harmful symptoms associated with the disease."
Here's what to do
Great grandma Bell's advice? Take four cod-liver oil capsules twice a day. My advice? Always listen to Great grandma Bell.
The dynamite duo that can reverse arthritis damage
"Scarce currency has been given to the notion that progression of osteoarthritis could be retarded pharmacologically, let alone by a nutritional product. This reportmay radically change this situation."
This stunning pronouncement was from Boston University Medical Center arthritis expert Tim McAlindon, M.D., in response to a report by Belgian scientists, published in the January 25, 2001 issue of the Lancet.
The studies were done at the University of Liege, Belgium. The truly momentous finding was that the combination of perfectly safe over-the-counter nutritional products, glucosamine sulfate (a synthetic version of one of the body's natural cartilage-builders) and chondroitin, not only relieved the pain of the condition, but, on X-ray, revealed healing, that is, a reversal of the calcification of the joints.
"This provides reasonably compelling evidence that [glucosamine] improves the disease," said Dr. Jack Klippel, medical director of the American Arthritis Foundation. "This will lead to greater acceptance of glucosamine as a reasonable and safe treatment for osteoarthritis."
According to Dr. Klippel, more arthritics take glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin, unbeknownst to their doctors, than take traditional painkillers and anti-inflammatories. This is a stunning admission and justifies my remarks made over the years that rheumatologists may do more harm than good with their constant drugging of their patients.
It has always been an unspoken mantra in medicine that "there will never be a drug that reverses calcification to a significant degree." I believed it myself and now, an herbal type preparation has shown us the way? It's enough to give a doctor humility.
We'll see if the rheumatologists get the message.
Herbal arthritis relief as effective as prescription drugs
It seems there's always something new emerging for arthritis treatment, especially some sort of expensive pharmaceutical drug with potentially dangerous side effects. So when a cheap, safe, traditional herbal therapy makes the news, it's worth taking a closer look.
In a double-blind study, researchers examined the effects of the herb devil's claw on osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. In the study, 122 people with osteoarthritis were given either devil's claw supplements or diacerhein, a prescription "super drug," for four months. Researchers found that both were equally effective in relieving arthritis pain. Furthermore, significantly fewer people in the devil's claw group needed to take additional pain relieving drugs.
Although this doesn't seem to be headline news, it is significant that the herbal remedy held its own in symptom relief and exceeded the long-term relief of an expensive drug.
Here's what to do
Take 2 grams of devil's claw each day. Devil's claw supplements are available from health food stores and even from some pharmacies. While no major side effects appear to be associated with devil's claw, it may interfere with the action of blood thinning drugs like Coumadin. If you are currently taking such medications, you should not begin treatment with devil's claw.